Torsional Stiffness Test

12 01 2010

Ravens Racing is committed to performance and safety. The mechanical properties of the frame are critical design criteria for a winning race car. Maximizing frame strength and torsional rigidity while minimizing weight is a very important racing trade-off. In the fall of 2009, torsional stiffness tests were conducted on the Ravens Racing 2009 fully assembled frame, the same frame that competed in May 2009 at Michigan. Using laser levels, digital angle deflection measuring devices and a custom test rig the frame was twisted at the spindles with the suspension fully locked out. This “hub-to-hub” torsional test allowed the applied torque to be related to the angle of twist of the frame under each applied torque. From the data gained from these tests the torisonal stiffness of the frame could be computed and was found to be similar to a performance high end sports car. When compared to the results of the finite element analysis performed on the frame using modern engineering structural computer software the test results were found to compare closely, thereby validating the experimental torsional stiffness data. Ravens Racing understands the structure of their car which will allow them to make improvements especially in areas of suspension performance and handling.

Ravens Racing 2009 Frame (Fully Assembled) in the torsional stiffness custom test rig.

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